Attitudes Among Nurses Toward the Integration of Complementary Medicine Into Supportive Cancer Care

Eran Ben-Arye, MD; Bella Shulman, RN; Yael Eilon, RN; Rachel Woitiz, RN; Victoria Cherniak, RN; Ilanit Shalom Sharabi, RN; Osnat Sher, RN; Hiba Reches, RN; Yfat Katz, RN; Michal Arad, RN; Elad Schiff, MD; Noah Samuels, MD; Ofer Caspi, MD; Shahar Lev-Ari, PhD; Moshe Frenkel, MD; Abed Agbarya, MD; Hana Admi, RN, PhD
ONF
10.1188/17.ONF.428-434

Description

Purpose/Objectives: To explore the attitudes of nurses treating patients with cancer regarding the use of complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) therapies to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life (QOL). 


Design: Prospective and descriptive.
 


Setting: 12 hospital and community care settings in Israel. 


Sample: 973 nurses working in oncology and non-oncology departments.


Methods: A 26-item questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of nurses treating patients with cancer. 


Main Research Variables: Interest in CIM integration and training in supportive cancer care.


Findings: Of the 973 nurses who completed the questionnaire, 934 expressed interest in integrating CIM into supportive cancer care. A logistic regression model indicated that nurses with a greater interest in integration tended to be older, believed that CIM improved patients’ QOL, and had no structured postgraduate oncology training. Nurses who believed CIM to be beneficial for QOL-related outcomes were more likely to express interest in related training. The goals of such training include improving QOL-related outcomes, such as anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal symptoms, and pain. 


Conclusions: Most nurses working with patients with cancer are interested in the integration of CIM into supportive cancer care. 


Implications for Nursing: Most nurses would like to undergo training in CIM to supplement conventional care. CIM-trained integrative nurses can help promote the integration of patient-centered CIM therapies in supportive cancer care settings.

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